Thinking Seasonally: How to Sell Your Book Creatively Every Month of the Year

You can make the December holiday season your biggest sales opportunity of the year. And then you can do it all over again—on Valentine’s Day, on Easter, and in the summer. In fact, you can do it every month of the year. It’s all in thinking seasonally.

If you’re lucky, you have a book that easily ties in with the holidays. Many different kinds of books do—everything from those sentimental gift books to books on simplifying the holiday season. Then it’s an easy sell. But what if you have a book that doesn’t have an obvious tie-in? Doesn’t matter. You can still figure out a way to make most books marketable for the holidays.

For example, almost any children’s book can be easily marketed for the holidays with the addition of some special holiday packaging. If your book happens to feature a loveable character, even better: Have it designed as a stuffed animal and sell it together with the book. Toy/book combos are tremendously popular for the holidays, and will sell everywhere from your local bookstore to a stand at the holiday flea market or school craft fair.

Gag books lend themselves well to the holiday season too, because people are always looking for inexpensive items for stocking stuffers and bring-alongs to holiday parties. If you’ve got a book that lends itself to humor and is inexpensive, you’ve got a guaranteed holiday seller.

Or let’s say you have a book on dogs. Instead of sitting out the holidays with Fido, think of how you can market Fido into the holidays. Think of opportunities to give other dog-lovers your book. Maybe there are dog shows during December where you could offer your books. (Don’t forget to bring the holiday gift wrap!) Or maybe you can think of ways to couple your book with other products to make a doggie-lovers’ ensemble. You could even pair your book with a package of gourmet dog biscuits and market it as a doggie Christmas gift in specially crafted doggie paw stockings. See what I mean?

And when you’re thinking holidays, don’t limit yourself to Christmas. Think Valentine’s Day, think Passover and Easter, think July 4th. Think all the under-commercialized holidays that nobody else bothers with, like Memorial Day and Labor Day. And figure out a way to leverage your product off them.

Even if you have a book that doesn’t seem to have any logical tie-in, you can create holiday excitement via your packaging or promotion. This year, for example, we’re offering our Publishing Game books for the holidays—the same books on finding a literary agent, self-publishing, and doing successful book promotion that we offer all year long. But for the holidays, we’re billing them as “Gifts for the Writer in Your Life”—and selling them with an assortment of elegant edibles as well as a novelty mug with the slogan, Writers are Novel Lovers. We’ve got packages in three different sizes and price ranges, and they’re already selling like hotcakes from our website—and it’s still weeks before Christmas. (Don’t you have a writer in your life who would appreciate one? Thought so!)

So whatever your book, think about a way to adapt it or promote it for the holidays. And then keep thinking—because if Christmas is here, can Valentine’s Day be far behind?

Fern Reiss is the author of The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days (book marketing), The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days (finding a literary agent), The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days (self-publishing). For more information on Publishing Game books, workshops, and consulting, and on getting your book and business featured in the national media, sign up for the complimentary PublishingGame/Expertizing email newsletter at